OGDEN — For the American Fork Cavemen, getting a win in the first round of the 5A state tournament would be the result of a complete team effort.
The Cavemen came together behind four players scoring double digits to record the 66-46 win over the Davis Darts in Monday's night cap at the Dee Events Center.
"I thought they did a good job," American Fork head coach Doug Meacham said of his team's performance. "In the state tournament, you've got to go and get a feel for the game. I thought our guys handled the ball well, I thought we were looking to get layups, and you have to in this type of arena."
American Fork inched its way up to the 20-point margin it ultimately won by, outscoring Davis by just three points in the first quarter and six more in the second, holding a nine-point, 27-18 lead at the midpoint.
The Cavemen owned the second half however, particularly in the final quarter as American Fork put the game out of reach midway through the final period.
"In the second half, I thought Quincy (Bair) was really aggressive, and he's tough to guard," Meacham said of the 6-foot-4 junior who finished a game-high 15 points as well as two rebounds and two steals. "I thought we were picking our spots and attacking the basket when we needed to attack. I just liked the way our guys weren't tentative."
The coach continued recognizing individual players who contributed greatly to the team effort by saying, "Michael Wells (was) looking to hit some shots, Alex Ross comes in and he's an energy guy. He'll make a mistake here but he'll get two steals on the other end. And Marcel (Davis) and Austin (Waddoups) are both as good as any guard at making things happen."
Wells scored six points, grabbed four rebounds, blocked a shot and snagged two steals; Ross had 11 points, three boards, three steals and an assists; Davis totaled 10 points, three rebounds, five assists, and four steals; and Waddoups finished with 13 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
"It's the first time I've been to the state tournament, so it feels good to get the win," said Davis, a 6-foot-2 junior guard. "We started off kind of slow but we played good defense today, we got a lot of steals."
The Cavemen finished with 14 steals and shot 93.3 percent from the foul line, making 28-of-30 freebie attempts. They shot 44.7 percent from the field, including hitting 4-of-10 3-point attempts, and outrebounded Davis 29-19.
Meacham and Davis were both pleased not only with earning the first-round victory, but also with doing so against a team with such a storied history, particularly in the state tournament.
"Davis is a great program. They know how to win, they compete," Meacham said, and Davis added, "We knew they were a good team. They go to rebound hard and they have a good coach, they're a good program."Comment on this story
Trevor Webb led the Darts with 12 points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal while Riley Watts added 10 points, three rebounds, a steal and a block.
With the win, the Cavemen move from one well-known team to another, earning a matchup with the Bingham Miners. The teams have not yet met this season, but the 18-4 Cavemen are eager for the challenge.
"I'm excited (to play Bingham)," Davis said. "They have a good team, too. They have good guards and physical big men so it'll be a good game."
That contest will tip off at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.